Rhapsodia Chronicles: Chapter 1

Blood under the Moonlight

 

 

“Within the darkness, I see two faint glimmers of light,
beckoning for me to reach it…”

 

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          Heavy and yet hurried steps of an armor clad person could be heard across the thicket, as blazes of fire roared behind him, swallowing everything in a thick, fiery hue. The grand kingdom where most of the wisest kings came from; the kingdom that was once known as Arcadia, was suddenly attacked by an army of unknown beings. Led by a powerful, dreaded knight clad in ghoulish cape, they threw the kingdom into chaos and stormed the palace. The royal house of Arcadia crumbled beneath his blade, despite how powerful and skilled the Arcadians were in battle. The 45th king, Sieghart Mihael Von Bielefelt, stayed behind with his army even when they were down to their smallest numbers and was clearly outnumbered.

 

 

          The knight’s footsteps echoed loudly, heavy and burdened. His labored breathing, gasping for air resounded across the darkness, shattering the peace that moments ago embraced the forest. What was supposed to be a peaceful, moonlit night turned into a bloody scene when the kingdom of light was attacked and their king, defeated.

 

 

          A young lady slowly opened her amethyst-colored eyes and soon found herself perched on one of the trees, her back leaning against the trunk. She sensed that something was amiss as the wind whispered to her ears and cautioned her of danger. Her long, jet black hair swayed upon the wind’s caution as she turned her gaze up to the moonlit sky. And there it was, a blood-red moon gazing down upon them, as if a testament to the lurking danger.

 

 

          “Blood…”

 

 

          The rustling sound of leaves was soon heard, and the knight soon emerged. He took a few steps forward before stumbling on his feet and into the ground he fell. His armor was all worn out, blood splattered all over that it mostly covered his full suit. He had injuries all over his body — injuries that most people wouldn’t last long. The knight was curled up on the ground, positioned as if he was trying not to squish whatever it was that was beneath him. He slowly pulled himself off the ground before stumbling once again. Just as when he was about to lose his ground and fall to the ground, he planted his sword in front of him to keep himself up.

      

 

          That was when the mysterious woman soon caught a glimpse of what it was that he was trying to protect not only from the weight of his body, but from whatever it was that was after them. In his arms, he held a newborn child, wrapped in the finest of Arcadian silk, albeit a few smudges of blood were present, most likely from the knight.

 

 

          It wasn’t that long when the knight noticed that they were not alone, when the woman slowly shifted her body to look down on him. Despite the injuries he sustained, he was able to swiftly ready his blade and took a defensive stance as his eyes shot towards me. There was a burning determination apparent in his eyes, though his body was slowly failing him. He held the newborn child close to him as he pointed his blade towards him.

 

 

          “You scums! You will never lay a finger on the prince!” he exclaimed, his teeth gritted in anger. “As long as the prince is alive, Arcadia will not fall!”

 

 

          Another rustling sound soon came from the shadows and soon enough, monsters stepped out from the darkness and into the clearing. The woman looked around them, slowly scanning each one of what used to be docile forest dwellers. Their blood-red
eyes and with their fangs bared suggested that they had been corrupted by some force. What could have possibly tainted them?

 

 

          Mustering all what was left of his strength, the knight spun around and held his sword at the ready, while the newborn child rested on his free arm. The monsters crouched down as if readying to attack, all eyes set on the newborn child that the knight held. “You will not lay a hand on the prince,”the injured man spoke sternly, albeit weak from his sustained injuries. “Even if it costs me my life, I will protect his highness.”

 

 

          Just as soon as he uttered those words, the monsters let out a growl before lunging at the knight. The woman watched as she appeared to have no plans of getting involved. The knight successfully deflected one of the canine attacks, but was soon swarmed by the other monsters. The newborn started letting out a cry as the knight desperately attempted to get the monsters off him.

 

 

          Blades of wind were soon hurled towards each of the monsters, sending them away from the knight with such force that they slammed into the trees. Alerted, the other monsters turned their attention to the woman who conjured the attack that sent its comrades flying.

 

 

          “Stop…” she whispered as she slowly descended from her tree with ease.

 

 

          The other remaining monsters lunged at her from behind as they tried to catch me her off guard. The woman shifted her body to the side, as she held a hand forward and an invisible barrier blocked their claws and fangs. With another swish of her hand, the monsters were hurled a few steps away from her before spears of light pierced through their body. Few monsters remained, whimpered before turning tail and running off towards the opposite direction.

 

 

          The knight watched as the woman slowly made her way towards him. He has sustained even more injuries from the monsters on top of the other injuries he had before, and she knew that his time is almost up. He was suffering from blood loss and though she may use her magic to heal him, it was actually too late for that now.

 

 

          “Thank…you…” the knight spoke with his labored breath. His wounds have reopened from all his sudden movement and his body started to tremble. He knew he wouldn’t last any longer and there was nothing more that could be done to save him. The knight gazed up to her as the woman stood in front of him, the look on his eyes was confirmation that he had already accepted his fate. He slowly and carefully held out the child to her, his eyes pleading for her to take the child. Although he was almost knocking on death’s door, a small glimmer of hope burned in his eyes.

 

 

          “Take care… of his highness…” he muttered under his breath. “One day… I am certain… that he will… come back and…” he was soon cut off his words as he fell to the ground, lifeless.

 

 

          “I bless your soul as you journey back to the cradle of the goddess…” she spoke softly, uttering a small prayer for the knight. Turning to the child that she held in my arms, the woman could sense something… different from him. He was human, yet something about him was different that she couldn’t put a finger on. There was a faint trace of magic coming from the child… magic that felt oh so familiar to her. As she examined the child even further, a mysterious yet strangely familiar insignia appeared on his right hand.

 

 

          And that’s when it seemed to hit the woman, as she recognized the insignia that the child had.

 

 

          He was no ordinary child, but rather an accursed one. A child from the forbidden union of a human and that of the accursed race of Abysmals. Death and destruction would hunt the child for the rest of his life for whether he succumbed to his Abysmal side or not. The Abysmal blood that flowed through his veins would be the death of him and those around him. Was it fate that brought the child to her? Why her, of all people? She, who had been running away from the Abysmals for thousands of years.

 

 

          “Well, well… what do we have here?” A voice soon came that snapped her out of her thoughts. There was a sense of familiarity with the voice and she felt a chill crawl down her spine. More sounds of footsteps followed as the voice seemed to come closer to the woman and the child. “I thought I sensed a certain kind of Arce coming from here.”

 

 

          Arce, forgotten powers of old, magic that could only be wielded by sentients of old: the Abysmals, children of the god of destruction, Discordio, and the lost race of Icarians, children of Yggdrasil, the goddess of life.

 

 

          It was then that a group of lower Abysmals, led by the owner of the familiar voice had the woman surrounded. She then held the newborn child close to her as the Abysmals eyed her, sneering and jeering. The woman turned her gaze to the Abysmal’s leader; he who appears to be a man, with silver locks of hair and a pair of amethyst colored eyes. The man stopped on his tracks, a few steps away from her and the child. “It must be my lucky day. All I wanted was that child, but who knew that I would find you here… after all these years… “ he stated with a sinister grin formed on his lips.

 

 

          “You haven’t changed a bit… even after all these years,” she responded, causing the man to let out chortles. The man slowly circled around the woman and she followed her gaze with every step he took. “That’s a long time to remain unchanged.”

 

 

          “Hmm, how long has it been? Five hundred? Seven hundred? No, no.” The man shook his head as if in gleeful reminisce. “Ah, yes. Thousand. Thousand years, to be exact,” he continued, eliciting another round of jeering from the lower rank Abysmals. “One thousand years.” Then he stopped on his tracks. “One thousand years since you and your kind betrayed us!” he exclaimed with deep seeded anger and flames erupted around them. His once amethyst colored eyes turned into that of a deep crimson color, the lust for blood ever-present. Fangs appeared and bared, and his skin turned dark as darkness itself, showing his true form of that of an Abysmal. He let out an even more sinister grin and a dark aura circled around him. His Abysmal servants cowered in fear of his power and the flames that surrounded them.

 

 

          “We’ve finally found you… Helene… “

 

 

          The newborn child that she held on her arms let out another cry. She knew that there would be no escape from these Abysmals. But one thing was for certain. There was no way that she would let the child fall on their hands.

 

           “And this time… there is no escape..”

 

 

– Chapter 1: End –

 

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